Smoke Shack Holiday Blowout

Every year around Christmas, I have a big BBQ blowout at my home in Dallas. This year is no different. I think I would be ostracized from the community if I failed to deliver the annual party, barbecue and libations. Here is what I have on the menu. If you are on the list, this is what you can look forward to. If you are one of my readers, don’t worry, I will provide pics and detailed recipes. The menu this year will include St Louis style ribs, smoked chicken, a variety of sides and to make this year special, a margarita machine.

First, the margaritas. I contacted a company called Margarita Monkey that provides margarita machine rentals in Dallas. They are providing me with a double bowl machine and a couple mixes. I chose Margarita Gold and Strawberry Daiquiri. The whole thing set me back less than $200 and me and the wife do not have to play bartender all night.

Next, the ribs. I like to use the 3-2-1 method. If you are unfamiliar, you basically smoke the ribs for three hours like normal. You then wrap them in foil and a little liquid and cook them for two more hours. The wrap and liquid steams the ribs a bit, tenderizing them. It also speeds up the cook. Finally, the ribs are uncovered and smoked for one more hour and then served. I use a dry rub so no sauce but you can also sauce them during the last hour. More details and pics to come after the party.

Now for the chicken. Smoking chicken is simple and foolproof as long as you do one thing, Brine it. A simple salt and sugar brine does several things for your meat. First, it makes it more tender. Second, it protects it from drying out by forcing a lot of moisture into the meat. I like to brine my birds for at least 4 hours before throwing them into the smoker. I then use Hickory or Mesquite wood to smoke them. This year, I believe Mesquite wood will get the call as well as s simple rub of salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder. It takes about 4 hours at 250 degrees to cook an average sized 5 pound bird.

Finally, for the sides, I am thinking about potato salad as the main side. Not your ordinary potato salad. Mine has red potatoes and eggs and is served hot not cold. Recipe to come. In addition, no good barbecue is good without beans, ranch beans in this case. Basically out of the can with a little added flavor. Then we will have corn on the cob which is of course another staple of barbecue.

If you are on the list, I look forward to serving you this Christmas for our annual neighborhood BBQ. For those out of the area and readers of this website, I look forward to providing you with some great recipes that you can try out for yourself either this holiday season or during the upcoming barbecue season.


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